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Reddit mentions of Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Guitar Method)

Sentiment score: 25
Reddit mentions: 43

We found 43 Reddit mentions of Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Guitar Method). Here are the top ones.

Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Guitar Method)
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  • Tablature: Yes
  • 104 pages
  • Size: 12" x 9"
  • Author: "Tom Kolb"
  • ISBN: 063406651X
Height12 Inches
Length9 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateMay 2005
Weight0.84 Pounds
Width0.298 Inches

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Found 43 comments on Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Guitar Method):

u/guitarwod · 18 pointsr/guitarlessons

There are so many different aspects to playing that you could spend time practicing.

Here are just some ideas off the top of my head:

  • pick a genre and study it
  • build a repertoire of licks
  • practice using said licks along with backing tracks
  • study theory (recommend the book Music Theory for Guitarists)
  • ear training
  • different techniques (sweep picking, hybrid picking, fingerstyle, etc)
  • practice improvising to backing tracks with scales
  • study songwriting

    Hate to plug my own site, but that is EXACTLY the problem I created the GuitarWOD (Workout of the Day) to solve.

    Good luck! Let me know if you need any more detail about how to go about practicing any of these or any other ideas you come up with.
u/Jongtr · 16 pointsr/musictheory

Not very long at all.

https://www.musictheory.net/lessons - has very clear lessons on notation (the first stage of its theory lessons - I'm surprised you managed to study any theory without knowing notation), and also fretboard exercises to test your knowledge: https://www.musictheory.net/exercises/fretboard

The issue with guitar, of course, is that a note has just one place on notation, but can have several places on the fretboard. That's why most beginner guitarists give up on notation and stick with tab.
In fact, the choice of where to play any one note is a liberation, not a limitation. It's like losing the training wheels on your bike.

Learning the note names is relatively easy, it's reading rhythm where some people have more trouble (the above exercises don't cover that). But if you start with the basics - note duration - and work up, it's not hard.

I recommend looking for sheet music for songs you know (you can usually find page 1 online for free) so you can see how the sounds - especially melodic lines - look on the page.

If you want a book, I recommend [this] (https://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X) - starts with notation as all good theory texts should. Make sure you play everything you read (or at least hear the sounds, as on musictheory.net). Theory is pointless if you don't know how it sounds.

u/EagleGum · 11 pointsr/videos

I applaud your courage in posting yourself playing, but I feel that you deserve some semblance of honesty when a stranger can critique you seriously. You are not good... actually pretty bad. I noticed on your channel that you started doing the rocksmith game to learn how to play and I dig that you're trying to learn, but look up some stuff like this or this. Not trying to harsh your mellow or anything, but you deserve an honest opinion. Your amp configuration is bad, too. Check out /r/guitar and this. You also need more inflection, maybe try a different picking style. Learn how to do vibrato as that gives your notes a much warmer tone. Consider investing in some pedals if you want to get serious because some sounds just can't be created with only and amp and overdrive. I would suggest a big muff pi or any cheap reverb pedal to start out. Learn the modes, like look up "Mixolydian Mode" or "Lydian Mode" to start out. I think Joe Satriani has some tutorials for those. Look up JUSTIN GUITAR. That guy is like Jesus on wheels for learning guitar by yourself. However, after getting some chops, move on to getting some real books and maybe a teacher.

Everyone starts out shitty but you just have to keep working it.

u/LukeSniper · 9 pointsr/Guitar

There are literally countless books on music theory available.

If you're looking for a specific recommendation, Tom Kolb (a fantastic educator) has a great book called Music Theory for Guitarists

It's a great place to start.

u/gtani · 5 pointsr/banjo

I think this is pretty well written, it's stickied in the BHO Theory subforum and covers the essentials well: common chord progressions and scales that go well in the context of the particular chord in the progression (and somebody also asks about what keys songs are in) http://www.banjohangout.org/topic/71709.

That theory subforum doesn't get a lot of threads but there is a lot of good explanations in older threads

What book/s are you using with your teacher? Most of them cover chords and scales in the context of soloing and playing backup rolls or vamping. You could look at the books by Ned Luberecki and Janet Davis and Trischka's Complete 5 string wehre they gradually introduce basic bluegrass chord progressions, pentatonic, blues and diatonic (8 notes/octave) scales.

Also if you play guitar i remember Kolb's book being good: https://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X

u/PhantomGenocide · 5 pointsr/Guitar

No. If anything, just get a book on music theory. Most guitar lesson books are just a collection of tabs with a few unhelpful paragraphs thrown in.

Here is a good music theory book written by a instructor at Musicians Institute (arguably the best guitar school in the U.S.). It won't teach you how to play, but it will give you a firm grasp on music theory that will aid in your learning.

Hope this helps...

u/Take42 · 4 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

So this is a pretty awesome contest idea!

Here is my list:
Something I want - A gift card was the only thing I would decide on for this category. Why a gift card? I'm indecisive!
Something I need - This soldering tip is something I very much need.
Something ^^(for ^^my ^^cat) to wear - This bow tie would be hilariously awesome on my cat Lovey.
Something to read - This book on music theory is something I want to read to learn a bit from.
Something to watch - The Big Lebowski is one of my favorite movies, and I don't own it!
Something to listen to - This is the new Modest Mouse album I have been waiting (literal) years for!

Here is your clue:
It's time to relax, it's time to kick back,
It's no longer time to hold back!
Let loose the gates, release the hounds,
And grab a chair to sit around.
It's in the air, it's in my head,
And soon my opinion will be set.
I like it, I hate it, I want more of it!

But in the end, my thirst is fed,
And nothing more than thanks can be said.

I tried! :D

u/NickCorey · 3 pointsr/Guitar

My advice is to buy some books. There's a lot of info on the internet, but it's all spread out and often chopped up into pieces, which can make it a bitch to make sense of. If you're going to go the internet route, though, check out guitarlessons365.com (not affiliated in any way). The vast majority of the lessons are free and the music theory section is completely free, not to mention very good.


Regarding books, this is a great, easy to read book on music theory that won't hurt your head. I'd start either here or with guitarlessons365.


For guitar books, Fretboard Logic is a must read. Definitely buy this. It focuses on the 5 position system (CAGED). If you're interested in learning the 7 position system for the major scales and other 7 note scales, check out guitarlessons365.


After that, I'd check out this as well.


Worth checking this out as well.


Here's another important book. I'd probably buy this last, though.


u/wildeye · 3 pointsr/Guitar

"Music Theory for Guitarists" by Tom Kolb is popular. http://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X/

The above-mentioned Fretboard Logic is good, but it isn't quite what you're asking for, if you were to buy only one book.

The above Mikrokosmos is a classic, but aimed specifically at piano. For some people that's not an issue, it can be a plus. For other people it is off-putting or confusing.

I really couldn't say what the best non-instrument-oriented music theory book is; there are so very many of them -- and I've got a whole bunch, just not one in particular that I think is an absolute must-read. There are a lot of topics even in basic music theory, and lots of approaches (very formal and academic versus casual writing style, for instance).

The one you found seems to cover a lot of the important topics, and is well-rated by 37 reviewers on the U.S. Amazon site, too, in addition to the 6 on the U.K. site.

You could always combine that one with the guitar-centric one.

u/SatanOffspring · 2 pointsr/Guitar


Just got that book and it makes it vary easy to understand. I would definitely recommend it. Even has quizzes too

u/redditor_here · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Here are two books that helped me exponentially:



The first book helped me visualize the fretboard a lot faster, and also taught me how to form really complex chords using interval knowledge. The second book gets into some really advanced stuff like modal interchange, chord substitution, and playing with modes over extended and altered chords. I'd suggest you start with the first book as the second book ramps up really quickly and it's easy to get lost if you haven't figured out the basics yet. Oh, and there are tips on how to use the harmonic and melodic minor scales as well, which is super helpful if you want to get into jazz.

At the same time, I still use a lot of lessons from justinguitar.com because that guy is amazing at relating complex concepts to others in a simple and coherent manner.

u/SnowblindAlbino · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I actually liked the book Music Theory for Guitarists. I've been playing for 30 years now (only seriously between ages 16-18 though) and never had lessons. I "learned" a good bit of theory from simply observing song structure, seeing how solos used scales, etc. This book was a good way to go the next step and actually study theory a bit with intent-- unlike, say, the actual music theory textbook I borrowed from my friend the ochestra conductor and music professor, which I found useless.

u/ordinaryagent · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Seconded. Justin's lessons are great. I also got this book from Amazon. It's more about theory than technique, but if you want to learn music as well as the instrument, I recommend it.

u/Lean6ix9ine · 2 pointsr/Guitar

These have been my favorites. I keep both paperback and Kindle versions laying around:

Circle of Fifths for Guitarists

Music Theory for Guitarists

Guitar Fretboard Workbook

Here’s something to get you thinking musically:

First Chord Progressions

u/elzilcho90 · 2 pointsr/LearnGuitar

Yes, a chord book, this is the one I have:

Go to one of the less expensive options. $15 is a little much for the default one that links.

Also, I forgot about this book too, which I also picked up a while ago but haven't thumbed through much of it yet. From what I did read though it is a great tool:

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I enjoyed this book

Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Guitar Method) https://www.amazon.com/dp/063406651X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_-1KjDbG3SXRAQ

u/ShutYourFuckingTrap · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Your questions are pretty broad theory questions and the FAQ should cover most of them or at least help point you in the right direction. If you've been playing for 15 years but don't know what a Cmaj7 is, you have a hill to climb, but not an impossible one.

It seems like your questions are theory based, you already know basic chords, so start with learning basic music theory. What notes make a scale?, Do you know your notes on the fretboard?, What notes of a scale do I use to make a chord? What are intervals? You don't have to be an expert in theory to be a great guitarist , but you have to know the basics, and should be able to answer these questions. This book is a great resource.

u/krekulon9 · 1 pointr/Guitar

This is a good book. It's focused on guitar so you can apply what you learn quickly, and it's not expensive.


u/JoeWalkerGuitar · 1 pointr/guitarlessons

My best advice for you is to find a project for focusing your improvement. It's fun to be able to jam in different styles and settings, and it's a worthy long-term goal, but it's impossible to tackle so many things at once. Find a band to start/join, doing covers or originals. Or find some people to jam with every week. Or take lessons. If you can find a good teacher, lessons will be the best thing for you. Even if you can learn a ton on your own, you'll always have questions along the way that are best answered in person by a master player.

Once you find that project to focus on, center your learning around it. Figure out what theory will be useful. (I second smackhead's endorsement of musictheory.net. Also, Music Theory for Guitarists is a great theory book.)

Learn songs by ear as much as possible. It improves your ears, fingers, and mind. Even if you forget how to play it later, you'll improve through the process, and have that extra experience with you. Imagine learning 1000 new songs in the next year. You'll develop the ability to hear a song in your head and know how to play it, so that you'll never have to remember how the tabs go.

And for some serious motivation, check out some articles on my guitar blogs: From the Woodshed and Deft Digits. Good luck!

u/troll_is_obvious · 1 pointr/Guitar

Any good theory book will keep you plenty busy for at least a couple months, just getting the basic fundamentals down. No point in paying a teacher to guide you through that process.

That book is by no means the only decent one out there. That same author actually wrote the "...For Dummies" series for Guitar Theory, which is pretty well reviewed, though I can't vouch for it personally, as I've never read it.

This is another one I could recommend. It's ridiculously short (100 pages, or just two-thirds the length of Fretboard Theory), but in a good way. It's more of a TL;DR quick reference guide, where Fretboard Theory gets a little bit more into application. But both are short books. The basic theory at work is surprisingly compact and deceptively simple.

Another book I recommend all the time is "The Handbook". They should hand out a copy with every Squire Strat starter pack they sell at Guitar Center. If you only ever own one guitar book, that should be it. Not strictly a theory book. It more of an owner's manual for a guitar.

I was in the same boat as you, BTW. Been playing since I was 14. Only bothered to actually start learning after 20 years or so of noodling aimlessly. It's been revelatory. Hope your experience is the same.

u/TheAethereal · 1 pointr/guitarlessons

This is a good book.

u/Lerke · 1 pointr/Guitar

Hi, if you're serious about learning theory; consider picking up a book like this one.

u/redditfan4sure · 1 pointr/Guitar

This book, Music Theory for Guitarists, might help you.

u/AeonOptic · 1 pointr/macdemarco

Hal Leonard Guitar Method Music Theory (Book/Online Audio) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/063406651X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_vGFJzbN555WS0

u/TheGlassAct · 1 pointr/Guitar

Well, what do you want to get out of learning theory? Many intro theory books and classes focus on learning the rules of functional harmony and writing 4 part choral stuff, which you probably aren't interested in.

If you're interested in stuff that directly applies to guitar, I'd suggest a book like this. https://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X

u/jonezy35 · 1 pointr/Guitar

Thanks for the links and videos, I'll dive in depth into those. I also ordered:

Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask (Guitar Method) https://www.amazon.com/dp/063406651X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_Xln3VhwSHiFF


Alfred's Basic Guitar Method, Complete: The Most Popular Method for Learning How to Play, Book, DVD & Online Audio, Video & Software (Alfred's Basic G https://www.amazon.com/dp/1470631407/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_WIiVhvj3WgX2F

I'll take it one bite at a time, thanks a ton!

u/PhiltheguitarmanX · 1 pointr/Guitar

The finger issue is something that will go away eventually, the important thing is to really practice your rudiments and changes so that you can make them feel like second nature. As for the theory I recommend having a look at theory "books" in particular.


I've tried learning theory online. but I come across far too many distractions with so many options on many different websites, I picked up this one book a while back and its taught me pretty much all the basics and all the relevant information.

u/occult91 · 1 pointr/rocksmith

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Fretboard-Workbook-Barrett-Tagliarino/dp/0634049011 http://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0C972VD8ZWFB78C2JGQ6 i have these two books i have been reading them and will soon get rocksmith, i play drums so i already understood the notation for rhythm, and the theory for melody i find to be interesting and not that hard, i own an ibanez as73

u/debtfreeforme · 1 pointr/Guitar

This is a good general guitar music theory book, might be too basic for you, but it does go pretty in-depth and offers a complete look at theory:


u/Otterpanda · 1 pointr/Guitar

This is the book I use, it's immensely helpful (esp. since it's tailored specifically for guitarists). I highly recommend it, since it's tailored specifically to guitarists. I've gone from knowing nothing about theory to having semi-proficient knowledge and I'm only halfway through.

u/david-not-goliath · 1 pointr/Guitar

Kolb is good.

u/lwp8530 · 1 pointr/Guitar

I imagine it would, he seems like a pretty good teacher and doubt he would leave something as important as that out.

But one book I've heard good things about on this subject is [Music Theory for Guitarists by Tom Kolb] (http://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X)

u/butter_ze · 1 pointr/Guitar


This book helped me a lot! Best part is, it's very guitar-centric.

u/promadpony · 1 pointr/Guitar

Its cool This book though i have never read it i have only heard good this about it from this sub. BUT i would start with music theory.net cus^its^free

u/a-distorted-reality · 0 pointsr/Guitar

https://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-Guitarists-Everything-Wanted/dp/063406651X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484811349&sr=1-1&keywords=music+theory+guitar someone recommended this to me years ago and it actually helped me a lot, even moreso than theory classes I took in high school/college. it's a really quick and efficient way to progress. youtube videos are ok but you might want something more structured and organized with specific exercises meant to train you to identify different concepts

edit: also the [circle of fifths] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths) is your friend